When we meet medical personnel and doctors in an emergency room or a hospital, we assume that they’re qualified and competent to practice medicine. But statistics tell otherwise. According to a, 61 cases of fake doctors were reported in California in 2012.

Therefore, it’s imperative to verify the authenticity of the healthcare staff for safety reasons. Today, even the smallest medical bungle can cost hundreds of thousands of medical and legal problems. 

Physicians, hospitals, and other health institutions are increasingly slammed with lawsuits. This gets worse when the failure happens due to incompetence or frauds of medical staff. This is why failure to properly authenticate the professional credentials of medical staff and practitioners is a big risk for the healthcare industry.

What is Healthcare Credentialing?

The arduous process of verifying the experience and training of healthcare professionals is called credentialing. Credentialing must be done at the time of enrollment or hiring a new medical professional. It should later regularly abide by the rules and regulations set by accreditation and regulatory organizations such as The Joint Commission (TJC) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). 

Healthcare credentialing had been mainly a manual process, up until a few years ago. The recent automation in healthcare staffing software has mostly replaced paper. A competitive market has forced healthcare staffing agencies to further streamline and automate their credentialing processes. 

Streamlining and digitizing the credentialing process comes with many prominent perks such as improved security of sensitive information, decreased costs, and faster turnaround time. Credentialing process usually incorporates the following:

  • Document Capture 

Portals capturing information from a variety of data sources, i.e. electronic documents, paper, e-forms. 

  • Batch Processing

Data extraction from a variety of files, eliminating manual indexing, filing, and sorting.

  • Data Security 

Security features prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.

  • Intelligent Notification and Routing

Automated e-mail messages to credentialing specialists alerting them of new activity.

  • Audit Dashboard

Recording and monitoring of any recent activity during the credentialing process.

Here are three tips you can use to automate Credentialing in Healthcare Staffing.

Integration is the Key

Integration is the biggest area for improvement for healthcare staffing agencies and also a prominent time saver. Companies with Applicant Tracking System (ATS) should integrate their current credentialing software with healthcare staffing software and ATS. Integration is vital because it reduces human error in the healthcare credentialing process.

Electronic signature software, behavioral and situational exam tools, testing, and checklist tool integration can eliminate weeks or sometimes even months of delay. Additionally, the integration will allow healthcare systems to efficiently manage workflows and report for real-time review. 

Credential Status Notification

Your recruits must get automatically notified about their credentials and, most importantly, expired licenses. Tracking the expiration dates of the credentials enables the credentialing team to be accurate and authentic. Saving time lets them verify the credentials of a large number of candidates in a short span. 

Credentialing tools should be accessible and easy to use. For example, a dashboard where the candidate can track and upload their credentials in a few clicks. Also, it should support the built-in verification process. When any new document is uploaded, old documents should automatically be archived to reduce redundancy and confusion.

Accessibility with a Portal

Storing all your credentials in one central location, which has facility access, is a good addition for your clients. Let us assume that the Joint Commission wants real-time access to the healthcare facility’s ATS to enquire about the current or retired medical professionals.

Storing all the information at a central location helps VMS or master vendor to access and manage all the temporary staff’s credentials. 

Overall, automation would mitigate any compliance risk, which will ultimately help your staff to choose the best candidate. In the end, all the healthcare facilities will only choose credentialing agencies that will assist them with their bottom line and professional goals.

Read More: Nurse Burnout: An Occupational Hazard


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